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Joint investigation leads to multiple arrests in Social Security identity theft.



On March 26 and 27, 2019 the New York State Police Special Investigations Unit (SIU) Buffalo and Office of the Inspector General of the federal Social Security Administration (OIG SSA) arrested the following subjects in the city of Buffalo and the town of Amherst, following a 16-month long investigation into identity theft using Social Security numbers stolen from children as young as 11 years old:

Darrius R. Outling, 49 of Buffalo, NY, charged with four counts of Identity Theft 1st Degree; two counts Scheme to Defraud 1st Degree; one count Identity Theft 2nd Degree. Robert A. Johnson Jr., 33 of Buffalo, NY charged with one count each: Identity Theft 1st Degree; Scheme to Defraud 1st Degree; Grand Larceny 3rd Degree; Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument 2nd Degree. Michael Ramsey, 55 of Buffalo, NY charged with one count each of Identity Theft 1st Degree and Scheme to Defraud 1st Degree. Evelyn T. Pratcher, 47 of Amherst, NY charged with one count each of Identity Theft 1st Degree and Scheme to Defraud 1st Degree. Cynthia L. Lockwood, 53 of Buffalo, NY charged with one count each of Identity Theft 1st Degree and Scheme to Defraud 1st Degree. Robert A. Johnson Sr., 54 of Buffalo, NY charged with one count each of Identity Theft 1st Degree and Scheme to Defraud 1st Degree. Audrey R. Garnett, 58 of Buffalo, NY charged with one count each of Identity Theft 1st Degree and Scheme to Defraud 1st Degree. Andrew K. Bostic, 56 of Buffalo, NY charged with one count of Identity Theft 2nd Degree.

*UPDATE* In November of 2017 the New York State Police Special Investigations Unit Financial Crimes Unit developed information regarding the use of Social Security Numbers of children.  NYSP SIU started a joint investigation with the OIG SSA. Further investigation revealed that Darrius Outling had illegally obtained Social Security numbers belonging to juveniles living throughout the United States.  He then sold the numbers to the suspects listed above, who then used them to fraudulently obtain credit to purchase cars, jewelry, appliances and open credit cards. The total loss on the fraudulent purchases was $420,000.

The OIG SSA is working with the major credit bureaus to repair the credit of the children who had their Social Security numbers stolen.

Parents can protect their children’s Social Security number by locking or freezing their credit with the three major credit bureaus:

Equifax Equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services 800-685-1111 Experian Experian.com/help 888-EXPERIAN (888-397-3742) Transunion TransUnion.com/credit-help 888-909-8872

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